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2019 Chevy Silverado install

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mmckenna

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Dumping photos out of my phone and found these from a few weeks ago.

My dad traded in his truck on a new 2019 Chevy Silverado half ton pickup. He put a Yaesu FT-7800 in it.

The radio install/power wiring were done by him. He dropped by my place for the antenna install. He knows better than to do half-a$$ed magnetic/glass/bracket mounts. He learned the value of a properly installed antenna, even on the roof a brand spankin' new truck.

For the record, like every truck I've turned in, —zero— ($0.00) impact on trade in price for the NMO mount on the roof. I turned in a 2011 F150 with two NMO mounts on the roof, and I got more than Kelley Blue Book top end trade in value on the trade in price since I tend to look after my trucks.

Anyway, 2019 1/2 ton Chevy pickup, crew cab, sun roof, LTZ trim. I didn't get as many photos as I normally do, but here's what I got:

Of course the sun roof is always a concern. We did a bit of searching, mainly by pulling the center dome light and pulling down the roof trim at the rear doors. No an issue, we were able to fit the NMO mount in with almost enough ground plane.



These cabs have the funky rear cap. Its composite/plastic, so non-conductive and not part of the ground plane. Didn't try pulling it apart, no visible screws on the outside or the rear stop lamp.

Measuring from the rear edge of the cab steel, and comparing to what we could visualize through the dome light hole, 16" lands you in OK territory. I know, not a full 1/4 wave, but with the sun roof, compromises needed to be made…




At 16 inches on the crew cab models, it clears the cross brace that's located just behind the dome light. Photo is a bit blurry due to trying to jam my phone up there and take a picture, but you can see the cross member and the shiny brass NMO mount:



Coax was run over to the passenger side B pillar, over the TOP of the curtain airbag, down the pillar, into the wiring trough under the door sill and to the radio. Cable cut to length + 6 inches and a new PL-259 crimped on the end with marine grade heat shrink for strain relief.

Control head was installed in the center console. I didn't like where the mic was mounted and he ran into issues with it later, it's been moved, but I don't have a photo of it.
(Yes, he likes Good & Plenty…)



He had the RF deck and speaker mounted under the front passenger seat but it was a lousy location. He ended up moving it to under the rear seat. He ditched the weak MFJ external speaker and put in a proper Motorola speaker.

He did the power wiring. Direct to the battery, as it should be. Wiring is in split loom, run down the passenger side firewall. He ran it up through a hole under the door sill. Sealed up with RTV. He didn't see the firewall grommet with the nipple that can be cut off to feed wiring through like most modern trucks have. If we'd redone it, we would have routed the power wiring that way.

The battery attachment had space to route the wiring, which made it look pretty clean when it's all closed up:



Always a challenge doing an install on a new model. This one, like most full size American trucks is pretty easy.
 

K7MFC

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Very nicely done!

He did the power wiring. Direct to the battery, as it should be.
What is the difference between connecting the ground wire to the battery terminal vs the chassis or body panel ground? I've seen posts here stating that newer vehicles should not use the negative terminal for ground, and I also came across a wiring guide from Chrysler that was linked in an install thread which specified accessory electronics should always be grounded to the body sheet metal. Does this vary by manufacturer?
 

R8000

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For the record, like every truck I've turned in, —zero— ($0.00) impact on trade in price for the NMO mount on the roof.
Agree 100%. I never had anyone question my NMO mounts. If I can, I will remove them and put the proper rubber plug in the hole, or I put a NMO raincap on the mount.

Nobody ever said a word.

I just love how folks will argue till they are blue in the face about mag mounts.
 

AI7PM

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Nice.

I'm about to do a 2018 Ram2500 MegaCab. I haven't had a peek above the headliner yet. Happy to hear from anyone who has. I'll be putting in three in row, front to back.
 

mmckenna

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Very nicely done!
Thanks. He did most of it, I just "supervised".

What is the difference between connecting the ground wire to the battery terminal vs the chassis or body panel ground? I've seen posts here stating that newer vehicles should not use the negative terminal for ground, and I also came across a wiring guide from Chrysler that was linked in an install thread which specified accessory electronics should always be grounded to the body sheet metal. Does this vary by manufacturer?
The issue is some vehicles have current sensors on the negative lead from the battery to the body. They use this to measure how much current is being pulled out of the battery. Bypassing that by running the negative directly to the battery can be a problem by allowing the radio body to make another path through ground, potentially allowing the current sensor to misread the load on the battery.

Ideally he needs to change it, and I'm glad you brought it up because I notice it when I was looking, but forgot to tell him.

Likely, the impact is minimal.
 

EWC_BDN

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I just did one of these too. I had an awful time with the rear dome light. i got mine out in one piece, but i had a hard time getting it back in. It looks like it's two pieces like the 14-18 ones, but they didn't want to separate.
These post 14 chev dome lights are so much worse than the older ones. Sometimes the clips are in so well the light has come out but the clips stayed behind.
 

aschenavar

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Nice install! I don't understand why people are so scared to do this lol..with the right equipment it is well worth the hole!
 

impalass427

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I always say let the next guy worry about the holes. I put 3 NMOs on my truck when it was new. I paid a lot of money for the truck so I'll do what I want to it. Unless it's a rented truck, I say drill away. Don S
 

n0xvz

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That's another great looking install! I still really like the installs you do. I keep telling myself that I'm going to put a ham rig in my truck, but I don't think it would turn out that well. Of course, I'm not on the air enough to justify it regardless. Maybe it's time to change both.
 

mmckenna

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That's another great looking install! I still really like the installs you do. I keep telling myself that I'm going to put a ham rig in my truck, but I don't think it would turn out that well. Of course, I'm not on the air enough to justify it regardless. Maybe it's time to change both.
Thanks for the feedback.
Just take your time, plan it out well, get all your parts ahead of time, and invest in the right tools.

Or, take it to a radio shop and have them do it. Might be a cheaper solution if you only do this once.
 
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I just did one of these too. I had an awful time with the rear dome light. i got mine out in one piece, but i had a hard time getting it back in. It looks like it's two pieces like the 14-18 ones, but they didn't want to separate.
These post 14 chev dome lights are so much worse than the older ones. Sometimes the clips are in so well the light has come out but the clips stayed behind.
I know I've pulled the dome light in one of the newer ones...I just don't remember doing it (that was a few hundred installs ago). In the Tahoe's I know I've done it as well but again, I don't specifically remember it. Once you do one, you pretty much memorize where the internal supports are and cease needing to look. General rule of thumb is as long as you shoot 10 inches or so of once side of the B pillar "roll bar" you won't hit one of the random structural ribs going across between them. I did get really lucky once on an Explorer and drill right in the channel (it's a few inches forward of where it seems like it would be)...pain to fish that coax out of there.
 

H2Owl

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Did you have an issues with RFI coming from the infotainment system? I just put a Yaesu FTM-7250D in my 2016 Silverado and I'm getting a lot of broadband white noise in the 70cm band coming from the infotainment system through the ham radio antenna.
 

mmckenna

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Did you have an issues with RFI coming from the infotainment system? I just put a Yaesu FTM-7250D in my 2016 Silverado and I'm getting a lot of broadband white noise in the 70cm band coming from the infotainment system through the ham radio antenna.
No issues with any of the installs.
Where/how is your antenna installed?
Where are you pulling power from?
How is your radio grounded?
 

H2Owl

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The antenna is attached with a fender NMO mounting bracket on the driver's side secured/grounded by one of the hood hinge bolts and a star washer for ground bonding. Positive power to the radio is directly from the battery and negative is attached to the vehicle frame. Noise stops when the infotainment system is off or if I disconnect the antenna either from the mount or the coax at the radio. Powering the FTM-7250 from a separate battery (I have a battery box for portable operation of an FT-857D) does nothing to the noise level so I'm pretty sure it's not power related. Additionally, I've tried the antenna with two dual-band handhelds and my Yaesu FT-857D and none of those radios pick up the noise.
 

mmckenna

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Without being there to look at everything, here's what I'd suggest...

- Ground the frame of the radio to body steel with as short of a wire as you can. Do not rely on the power negative lead or coaxial shield as the radio ground. I've solved a lot of problems over the years by simply adding a ground strap from the radio RF deck to the body.
- Move the antenna. If you have a mag mount, try putting it on top of the cab, center of the roof. Fender mounts can be a poor choice.
- Relocate your power, control and coaxial cables away from existing vehicle wiring.
 

sloop

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Good looking setup...with that being said, I do have 2 issues with the setup. 1-Locating the control head inside of the center console is not a good idea, the lid must be open when operating and can do damage to anything in the way if you have to hit the brakes suddenly and it closes rapidly! 2-This is a setup for distracted driving! In order to see the control head you must take your eyes completely off the road...NOT GOOD.
The control head (radio) should be installed in such a location that requires no more time to look at as does the rear view mirror. Police, ambulance, and fire vehicles are good examples of where to locate radios.
 

mmckenna

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Good looking setup...with that being said, I do have 2 issues with the setup. 1-Locating the control head inside of the center console is not a good idea, the lid must be open when operating and can do damage to anything in the way if you have to hit the brakes suddenly and it closes rapidly! 2-This is a setup for distracted driving! In order to see the control head you must take your eyes completely off the road...NOT GOOD.
The control head (radio) should be installed in such a location that requires no more time to look at as does the rear view mirror. Police, ambulance, and fire vehicles are good examples of where to locate radios.
Good advice for many installs.

However, we stick to one simplex channel, so there's no need to access the radio. There is a remote speaker under the seat and the microphone is outside the enclosure. The mic is all he needs to access while driving.
 

clovisb31

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Hello,
Where did you pull the power cable through to the radio from the battery? The firewall? I have a 2018 Siverado with a similar terminal block on top of my battery also. I want to connect directly to the battery like your Dad did, but where , specifically did he pull the power cable into the cab? In the past I have installed a radio into my pickups using a grommet through the firewall, but in this truck there is no grommet in an obvious location. I really don't want to drill a hole through the firewall with all the stuff they cram under the dash now.
Thanks,
Shane
 

H2Owl

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Hello,
Where did you pull the power cable through to the radio from the battery? The firewall? I have a 2018 Siverado with a similar terminal block on top of my battery also. I want to connect directly to the battery like your Dad did, but where , specifically did he pull the power cable into the cab? In the past I have installed a radio into my pickups using a grommet through the firewall, but in this truck there is no grommet in an obvious location. I really don't want to drill a hole through the firewall with all the stuff they cram under the dash now.
Thanks,
Shane
There's a small "nipple" at the top of the large grommet in the firewall specifically for upfitter use. See the yellow mark in the photo and red/black wires going to my radio. Pierce it with something sharp like a small awl or short length of coat hanger. It enters the cab above the covered terminal block on the firewall.
 
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